Objective: To assess the knowledge of Brazilian medical students regarding medical abortion (MA) and the use of misoprostol for MA, and to investigate factors influencing their knowledge.
Methods: All students from 3 medical schools in São Paulo State were invited to complete a pretested structured questionnaire with precoded response categories. A set of 12 statements on the use and effects of misoprostol for MA assessed their level of knowledge. Of about 1260 students invited to participate in the study, 874 completed the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 69%. The χ(2) test was used for the bivariate analysis, which was followed by multiple regression analysis.
Results: Although all students in their final year of medical school had heard of misoprostol for termination of pregnancy, and 88% reported having heard how to use it, only 8% showed satisfactory knowledge of its use and effects. Academic level was the only factor associated with the indicators of knowledge investigated.
Conclusion: The very poor knowledge of misoprostol use for MA demonstrated by the medical students surveyed at 3 medical schools makes the review and updating of the curriculum urgently necessary.
Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.